A Conversation with Dick Simpson

JANUARY 21, 2018

2:30pm Interview | 3:30pm Reception

Join us after the interview for a book signing and champagne and dessert reception!

LOCATION THE 19th CENTURY CLUB 178 Forest Avenue Oak Park IL 60301
QUESTIONS Call our Box office (708) 300-9396

Oak Park Festival Theatre is pleased to sponsor “Life Lessons from a Chicago Progressive: A Community Conversation with Dick Simpson” on Sunday afternoon January 21, 2018.  This exciting Festival Theatre fundraising event will include an interview and book discussion with one of Chicago’s most well-known political thinkers and activists. In 2018 OPFT explores the theme of “THE OUTSIDER”. An outsider can take many forms, and with this community event, we bring to you one of our cities best known critical thinkers and activists to share his perspective on thinking outside the lines and the common thread of humanity.

Dick Simpson is a long-time activist professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Chicago alderman. An expert on Chicago politics, political reform, and elections in general, he has published widely and affected public policy.  Prof. Simpson will share excerpts from his latest book, a memoir entitled The Good Fight: Life Lessons from a Chicago Progressive. Following the book reading, Chicago and Oak Park election attorney Richard Means will interview Prof. Simpson on his 50-year career in national and Chicago politics. The subjects will cover Simpson’s views on current political and societal challenges. Audience questions will follow the interview.

Simpson is a progressive thinker whose values were shaped by early civil rights struggles. His passion for social justice and democracy earned him a place in line at a 1960 stand-in and a top spot in Eugene McCarthy’s presidential run. Simpson demonstrated at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention and protested Reaganomics in a march on Washington. In the 1970s, this young and independent-minded Chicago alderman angered boss Mayor Daley so much that he ordered the sergeant-at-arms to force Simpson into his seat. He didn’t bow to the machine then, and hasn’t done so since.

Over his career as a political science professor and politician, Dick Simpson has devoted much of his energy to advancing the cause of democracy and participatory politics. He resides in Chicago, where he continues to oppose the power of the political machine. Simpson has taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago for 50 years. He has written and co-authored numerous books.

The Good Fight:  Life Lessons from a Chicago Progressive will be available for sale and author signing after the interview and discussion portion of the event.  A champagne and dessert reception will follow.

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